Do you feel that saving money is still impossible, no matter how hard you try? While your intentions are good and you make efforts to reduce spending, something always gets in the way–car tires need replacing, braces must be paid for, or your house requires roof replacement and so saving becomes secondary in priority. Sound familiar?
Everything doesn’t need to fall perfectly into place before saving money. Waiting for “the perfect time” never happens; now is always the right time. So stop waiting! Start saving today.
Good news! There are simple ways to save money and bolster your budget with extra funds. Below are 23 money-saving tips designed to help you adjust your spending and start saving cash quickly and easily.
23 Practical Strategies to Save Money Now
1. Start Repaying Debt.
Monthly debt payments can be the single most excellent money drain for saving. Debt steals away both your time and income! So it’s high time you shed that debt with the debt snowball method, in which debts are paid off in order of most minor to most significant debt balances. While it might sound intense at first, remember it’s more about changing habits than numbers; once your income has been liberated, you can use it towards meeting savings goals more quickly.
2. Reduce Your Grocery Budget.
After creating a budget, most people are shocked at how much money they spend at the grocery store each month. For an American family of four, this amounts to approximately $966.1. It can be tempting to buy Oreos here and chips there. Before hitting up the register with goodies, you find attractive, these “budget busters” add up quickly and cause budget overshoot each month!
Save money when grocery shopping by planning meals for each week and taking an inventory of what’s already in your pantry before heading out. No sense in purchasing more of what already exists! To stick to your list and stay within your budget–leave the children at home.
Want a surefire way to save both time and money? Consider online grocery delivery. Many significant stores now provide it, sometimes free, which can save a ton of cash by eliminating temptation when browsing aisles for goodies like freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies. Shopping this way forces you to stick with your list rather than engaging in impulse buying sprees.
3. Cancel Automatic Subscriptions and Memberships You No Longer Need.
You might already be paying for multiple subscriptions like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, gym memberships, trendy subscription boxes and Amazon Prime. Now is the time to cancel any that aren’t in use regularly – make sure that auto-renew is disabled when making a purchase, and only reinstate when it fits within your new and improved budget plan if cancelled and then reinstated later if needed.
4. Go generic.
One of the quickest and most straightforward ways to save money is switching to generic versions of products marketed under their names, with cheaper generic options often outperforming their more costly name-brand counterparts in performance and cost. Generic brands of medicine, staple food items such as rice and beans), cleaning supplies and paper products cost far less and work just as effectively if not more effectively than their brand-name alternatives.
5. Break Your Ties with Cable.
It is no secret that cable prices have grown dramatically; in the last three years alone, the average cable TV bill increased by 52%!2 However, cable is no longer the only way to watch shows you love; why not explore how to save by looking into alternatives such as network apps or streaming services?
Remember not to get carried away when signing up for streaming services; only sign up for those you will use; signing up for everything available could cost more than cable!
6. Save Money Automatically. Mes Did you know you could automatically save money without even thinking about it? Sure–just set up your bank account so funds will automatically transfer from your checking to savings each month, or use direct deposit to transfer 10% of each paycheck into savings directly. Now save without thinking!
7. Spend any extra or unexpected income wisely.
Whether it be from work bonuses (congrats!), inheritance, or tax refunds, put it to good use – and by that, we mean more than adding to your stamp collection or just keeping it in a bank for camping trips!
If you still have debt in your life, use any extra money available to repay student loans or the balance on credit cards rather than stashing it away in savings accounts. Alternatively, use those extra dollars to build an emergency fund–you never know when something might pop up!
8. Adjust Your Tax Withholdings.
Speaking of unexpected income–if you receive sizeable tax refunds every year, now might be the time to adjust the withholding on your paycheck to keep more of that extra cash in your pockets each month and avoid giving more to Uncle Sam than necessary!
9. Reduce Energy Costs.
Did you know that just making some tweaks around your home could save money on energy costs? Starting by taking shorter showers (no, we didn’t say less!), fixing leaky pipes, washing clothes in cold water instead of hot and installing dimmer switches or LED lightbulbs may help.
Energy-efficient appliances are an effective way to lower your electric bill, but they’re expensive! If you set aside enough in your budget to save for them over time and pay with cash when the time comes.
10. Examine Your Insurance Rates.
Doing a check can save an average of $700! Let an Endorsed Local Provider (ELP) look and see what savings there might be for you. You owe it to yourself, at least, to attempt this!
11. Pack Lunch (and Eat At Home).
The average household spends an estimated annual total of $3,030 on food outside their homes–that translates to about $253 every month! Buying lunch now and again might seem harmless (mainly when your favourite eatery is nearby), but packing one could save quite a bit.
And that is just the start: you can often purchase enough groceries to last an entire week at once for the exact cost of two dinner meals! By cooking at home and saving yourself money over time.
12. Always inquire about discounts (and pay in cash).
Never assume! Never underrate the power of negotiation when purchasing tickets to movies, museums or sporting events! Ask about any possible special discounts offered for seniors, students, teachers, military or AAA members as you check for tickets–they might surprise you with what unique offerings exist! Don’t underestimate cash as a tool if there are none!
13. Take full advantage of your retirement savings plan.
If your employer offers a 401(k) match and you aren’t taking full advantage, you could be missing out big-time! Reach out to HR to set up an account – however, note that when considering saving for retirement, you should wait until all debt (except mortgage) has been cleared and have three to six months’ emergency fund saved before investing and saving in it.
14. Reduce Your Cell Phone Bill.
Is Your Monthly Cell Phone Bill Exceeding Your Monthly Grocery Budget? If it is, now may be the time to find ways of cutting back. Reducing extra expenses like costly data plans, phone insurance and unnecessary warranties while haggling with or switching providers may save even more money! With patience and research on your part, savings will surely ensue!
15. Go on a Spending Freeze.
Give up buying any unnecessary purchases for at least a week–or even more–as part of a contentment challenge and take note each day of what makes life worthwhile; this should help to overcome “want-itis.”
Make your spending freeze effective by planning to use what food you already have in the pantry for meals, avoiding stores where impulse buys occur (did someone say Target dollar spot?), and saying no to anything that isn’t a basic necessity.
16. DIY . . . everything!
Before forking over cash to buy a new backsplash, bench, or light fixture, consider DIYing it instead! Most often, the cost of materials and a quick Google or YouTube search can save a bundle on home projects; additionally, not having to hire someone is a surefire way of keeping your cash and headache. But if you can’t hit the target every time, seek help from friends or neighbours so you won’t spend unnecessary cash on professional drywall services.
When it comes to DIY (or any type of) work, try borrowing tools from friends or neighbours instead of going out and purchasing them yourself.
17. Skip the Coffee Shop.
We understand this one can be tough! To help, instead of spending $6-8 every time you visit a drive-thru coffee shop for that daily latte, consider making your coffee at home rather than cutting back by limiting visits while using coffee shop hacks to save on each visit.
18. Your Library Is an Asset.
Before purchasing that brand-new book, check with your local library first – they may offer audiobooks and digital copies as rental services, making reading accessible without breaking the bank! It’s an ideal way to stay reading without breaking your budget!
Bonus Tip: Visit online or local used bookstores to find incredible bargains on books that appear like-new at a fantastic value – both are excellent sources for affordable finds!
19. Consider staying home.
When you aim to save money, travel is often not the best use of funds. Instead of booking flights to exotic locales like Greece or Fiji, try being a tourist in your city. Not only will this save hundreds (if not thousands!) in money costs, but you can also explore your neighbourhood with fresh eyes while having fun exploring what’s around you!
20. Take Advantage of Cash-back Apps and Coupons.
A 20% discount coupon can help save you a bundle when shopping, but did you know there are plenty of cash-back apps like Ibotta, Rakuten and Honey (a browser extension) to take your savings even further?
21. Refinance your mortgage.
They are refinancing Your Mortgage. Here is a compelling long-term money saver: refinancing to a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage could save you thousands over time! Talk with one of the RamseyTrusted Real Estate Agents for advice if refinancing makes sense!
22. Make Marie Kondo proud and sell everything (that doesn’t bring joy).
Her philosophy rings true here – declutter your home by selling items that no longer bring you happiness and are willing to let go for your financial well-being. That vintage chair your aunt gave you? Sell it! And that crystal vase you found at an antique shop? Put them both up for auction; the cash they can bring can make the difference between living paycheck to paycheck!
23. Learn the Art of Saying “No” (or “Not Now”).
We live in an age of instant gratification: food can arrive at our door within hours from our favourite restaurants; your favourite show can be streamed instantly; advertisements on social media promise us products or services now… With just a click or two away from satisfying all your wants or needs!
But by deferring some gratification with the power of “no” (or “not now”)–you will save an immense amount of money! Changing this mindset shift alone could result in better spending habits and increased contentment; savings and improved mental and emotional health are always welcome!
How to Start Saving Money –Now.
Saving money only begins when healthy financial habits become part of your routine and prioritize keeping over current wants–so make saving a priority today! A foolproof way of ending paycheck-to-paycheck living is to create a zero-based budget before each new month starts.
Budgeting is all about intentionality: creating a plan to see where your money is going and find out how much can be saved each month. By creating a zero-based budget, each dollar gets assigned its job before saving or spending it; remember: what matters more than how much money you make is how you choose to use and protect that income.
Need some help staying on top of your spending? Make life simpler with EveryDollar, and our free budgeting app allows you to monitor all your expenses (and savings!) at once!
Starting today, you can make 2023 your most successful year financially yet by employing these 23 tips for saving and spending less money.